Sara Coward

The Archers actress Sara Coward dies aged 69

Sharnaz Shahid

The Archers actress Sara Coward has died aged 69 after losing her battle with cancer, the BBC have confirmed. The Radio 4 star, who played Caroline Sterling on the popular radio drama since 1977, was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year after she found a lump on her neck. On Monday, The Archers editor Huw Kennair-Jones released a heartfelt statement as he paid tribute to the late star.

"Everyone in The Archers family is very sad today," he said. "Sara was a gifted actress with a unique voice. Even when she was navigating the tribulations of Caroline Sterling’s love life, Sara's deft wit and clever characterisation meant Caroline was never solely defined by her relationships but always as a fully rounded, intriguing woman of substance. We will all miss her both professionally and personally."

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The Archers actress Sara Coward has died

Sara made her first appearance in The Archers in 1977 and her last was in September 2016. She twice appeared alongside two royal guests on the show, first with Princess Margaret in 1984 before teaming up with the Duchess of Cornwall when The Archers celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2011. Speaking about working with the Queen’s late sister, the actress previously recalled: "Her Royal Highness was charming, 'I have this terribly flat voice' she told me apologetically, with a ready sense of humour and a dry wit. We did one rehearsal and the producer said, 'That's very good, Ma'am, but do you think you could sound as if you were enjoying yourself a little more?' She looked him straight in the eye and said acidly 'Well, I wouldn’t be, would I?'"

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Last month, Sara revealed she hoped her character’s legacy would last even after her death. "I'd like them to find someone else to play her," she was quoted as saying via Radio Times. "In fact I know the very person."

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